BJP, Congress spar on PM again


New Delhi : The Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) once again traded words Tuesday with the latter terming the prime minister as a “sad and helpless leader” and the Congress retorting that Manmohan Singh had achieved in three years what the previous BJP-led government hadn’t managed in five.

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The BJP, quoting media reports stating that the prime minister was embarrassed and pained about the impasse over the Indo-US nuclear deal and the Congress party denying that he was resigning, said: “The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government is paralysed by its internal contradictions. The government has not taken any significant decisions in recent months. The reality thrown up about the sad and helpless prime minister is a cause for national worry.”

Party general secretary Arun Jaitley said: “Can a sad and helpless prime minister lead India? India is a growing, youthful and a resurgent nation. It needs an enthusiastic leader, who is decisive, who can take decisions and implement them.”

Referring to Manmohan Singh’s speech at the Hindustan Times Summit earlier this month that “one has to live with disappointments but life must go on”, Jaitley said that it was typical of an Indian condolence message.

“The speech displays the state of the prime minister’s mind,” he said.

“The nation needs to reflect on a question – can a sad man lead a resurgent nation? Neither the prime minister nor his office is doing the nation a favour by projecting the prime minister as a helpless leader,” he said.

To this, Digvijay Singh, Congress general secretary said: “We have a competent prime minister who has been doing extremely well. What the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) could not do in five years, he has done in three years.”

“There is no question of disappointment and the BJP and Jaitley may better look into their own disillusionments and troubles.”